21. December 2022 | Magazine:

Welcome to the Student House A new space for student life

An ideal place for self-study, for planning projects together, for constructive discussions or for taking a break between lectures and letting your mind wander beyond your laptop: With the new Student House, there is a new attractive place for students to exchange ideas, study and chill out. Right in the heart of the campus and directly on the Oker River, the building with its delicate and transparent architecture is a real eye-catcher. The doors of the Student House will open on 2 January 2023. The opening will enable students to study at TU Braunschweig during the second week of the winter break despite the university being closed.

The new Student House on the banks of the river Oker. We switched on the lights especially for the photo. Photo credit: Kristina Rottig/TU Braunschweig

Flexible furniture

The central Student House next to the Historic Main Building will enrich student life at TU Braunschweig in the future and takes into account the changed demands on teaching and studying. The inviting two-storey building is open to all students seven days a week from 8 am to 10 pm. A total of 160 study spaces are available: Individual desks and high counters with chairs and stools that can be flexibly arranged for study groups and presentation opportunities. On the upper floor, a seminar room can be partitioned off if required. Pin boards – for example for exhibitions – are also available on the upper floor. And of course there are power outlets for the workstations and fast Wi-Fi in the barrier-free and accessible building.

The suspended wooden acoustic ceilings create a warm atmosphere. Photo credit: Kristina Rottig/TU Braunschweig

“Such a centrally located Student House with such fantastic, contemporary architecture offers our students excellent conditions and is the ideal complement to the existing learning facilities on the TU Braunschweig campus,” TU President Angela Ittel is pleased to say. “It encourages exchange and joint work among our students and increases the attractiveness of our university for students from Germany and abroad.”

Study spaces are open to all students in the winter semester

Until the end of the winter semester, there will be a special arrangement due to the energy crisis: the entire Student House will be open to all students. In order to further reduce energy consumption, the learning space concept will be adjusted this semester from 09 January 2023. Among other things, the University Library will close earlier during off-peak hours when the study spaces in the large halls are used less. In this way, the high energy costs in the University Library building, which dates back to the 1960s, can be reduced, contributing significantly to achieving TU Braunschweig’s savings targets. By opening the Student House at the same time, the range of learning opportunities will nevertheless be expanded.

160 study spaces are available in the new student house. Photo credit: Kristina Rottig/TU Braunschweig

From the summer semester onwards, the upper floor will be used for Architecture students who, for example, have not been able to get a place in one of the drawing rooms. To this end, the Faculty of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences contributed 750,000 euros to the construction costs, which totalled 5.2 million euros.

Inspiring architecture

The two-storey filigree building, which resembles a pavilion, is an architectural eye-catcher. Both storeys span the entire space, which can thus be used optimally as there are no traffic routes. Both the glass façade and the skylight dome on the upper floor, which also serves as ventilation, provide plenty of daylight. To enable concentrated self-study and discussions in small groups next to each other in the open building, the two architects Gustav Düsing and Max Hacke placed great emphasis on sound absorption. Good acoustics are ensured not only by carpets, curtains and noticeboards, but also by the suspended acoustic ceilings made of wood, which additionally create a warm atmosphere. The open floors thus offer both quiet workplaces without much distraction and islands in the room where there is always something going on and students can develop creative ideas together.

A seminar room can also be partitioned off on the upper floor. Photo credit: Kristina Rottig/TU Braunschweig

The two architects know TU Braunschweig and its spatial conditions well. They used to work or still work as research associates at TU Braunschweig’s Department of Architecture. Their design won a competition that was announced among the TU Architecture assistants.

The innovative steel-wood construction was created using a circular, sustainable construction method and allows for easy assembly and disassembly. Unlike solid buildings, all components can be reused in a resource-saving way even after decades as part of the circular economy, since they are all screwed together and not welded. In this way, the material has a long life as a building component and becomes part of the circular economy.”

Outside, a colourful and ecological wildflower meadow has already been laid out for students to enjoy. The trees around it, together with the projecting roof, provide shade in summer.

The building will officially open at the beginning of 2023 and perhaps the Student House will already have a name by then.